Design Board to Reality: Downtown Austin Abode

Happy Tuesday everybody! These are some of my favorite posts to do because I think it is so much fun to see how a project can move from an idea on paper to reality. We named this cute project the “Downtown Austin Abode” project because it is located in the heart of downtown Austin in a high-rise right off of the notorious 6th Street. I hope that you love watching our ideas for this project come to life!

As you can see below, we started off this project by making a design board. Design boards are really helpful not only to the designer, but also for the clients to get an idea of what the finishing spaces will look like. Design boards are a rough replica of what we imagine the space to turn out like. Not all of the details in the design board will actually happen–some of the fun of it all is making things work as we go. As you continue to scroll down, you will notice that this design board is almost identical to what the space actually turned out to be. We LOVE it!

DESIGN BOARD

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REALITY

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When we visited the apartment for the first time, this is what we were working with. Going to see the empty space before any work has been done on it is always a good idea for an interior designer. It helps to get exact measurements of everything so that we can make sure all of the furniture and accessories will be the perfect fit. Below are photos we took of the master bedroom and the kitchen area.

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Before – Bedroom + Kitchen Area

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I am obsessed with how the bedroom and kitchen area turned out! The cactus wallpaper and green walls with gold accessories and art, as well as the dark wood side tables are to die for. My favorite part about the view from this master bedroom is the green, rolling hills that go on as far as the eye can see!

Lets talk about the breakfast table–we added the four chairs and marble lazy suzan for friends to drink coffee and for conversations to flow. The variety of framed vintage fabrics brightens up the white walls and adds even more of a unique, Austin feel to this apartment.

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Bedroom Wall Art

Bedroom Wall Art

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before

The following pictures show more views of the empty kitchen and living room area. We were really excited to work with this spacious and open living room because that is where most of the hanging out would occur. Scroll down to see how our ideas from the design board were reflected in this space.

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As you can see, this space turned out to be a pretty close replica of the design board. My favorite piece of furniture that we incorporated in the living room is definitely the woven peacock chair with the fur throw and fringed blue pillow. I also fell in love with the ombre blue and white fabric art and the leather vintage suitcases we used. The pops of color from the fringe pillow, geometric marbled coffee tables, and large wall art above the couch give this apartment such a positive aura.

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Living Room

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Colorful Fringe Pillow

Colorful Fringe Pillow

This southwestern style apartment with its modern bohemian flair makes the perfect getaway weekend for couples or friends visiting downtown Austin. Watching projects like this one come to life is what makes working for an interior designer so rewarding and inspiring. I hope you all enjoyed reading about one of our most recent, finished projects and were able to gather some ideas for yourself! Have a great rest of your week and make sure to check the blog on Friday for some Fab Friday Finds!

xoxo,

Greta

5 Fab Friday Finds: Curvy Sofas

Who doesn’t agree that lounging is the besssssst thing to do after a long day of work? Well, I have found that most of my lounging occurs on my sofa. Although I have an “L” shaped couch and love it dearly, I am recently obsessed with funky, curvy sofas. So here are a few that I found on this fabulous Friday to share with all of you!

1/ Ella Sofa by Piet & Boon:

This rounded sofa comes in two different sizes to fit the needs of your space and is available in a variety of materials and colors. Love the simplicity and chic-ness of this piece.

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2/ Grace Serpentine Three-Piece Sectional by Anthropologie:

Anthropologie’s new home line is killing the game right now. I want it all. This three-piece sectional is available in Jade (pictured below), Charcoal, Marine, and Navy. Conversations with friends would flow nicely on this curvaceous and feminine velvet piece.

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3/ Heatherly Sofa by Anthropologie:

Told you I was obsessed with Anthopologie….This smaller sofa fits two people comfortably and is one way to brighten up any room. The Heatherly Sofa is customizable and comes in a large variety of fabrics, such as velvet, wool, linen, and hundreds of colors. I want it in light blue velvet with brass legs!

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4/ Boomerang Sofa in Velvet Stone by West Elm:

Shown in Stone, this gorgeous sofa has been very popular at West Elm this season. The softly rounded edges of this sofa give it a graceful and dainty look. A variety of big fringe pillows and a faux fur throw would add more of a cozy feature to this lounge area.

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5/ St. Tropez Curved Sofa in Velvet by ModShop:

Pretty in pink! Love this last Friday find because of its soft pink color, of course, but also because of its tufted back rest. As a part of the St. Tropez collection by ModShop, this sofa has six bleached walnut legs and its also made in a larger version, as well.

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Which curvy sofa find is your favorite? I would choose them all if I could, honestly. Give us your personal opinion in the comment box below.

Well folks, that’s it this Friday! Have a fabulous weekend and check in next Friday for more decor ideas.

xoxo,

Greta

Project Progress: Pretty in Pink

Hey everyone! I hope everyone had as amazing of a weekend as I did at Austin City Limits. I am seriously considering going back for Weekend 2 just so I can see the Red Hot Chili Peppers all over again… They were by far my favorite show out of them all.

Anyways, as I am sitting here reminiscing about my past few days, I thought that I’d share one of my favorite “in-progress” projects with all of you to make your Tuesday brighter. Although there is more work to be done to complete her new crib, I am already in love with all that its turning out to be. Here are a few photos I took of my favorite accessories and decor (so far). Enjoy!

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Home Office

What I would do to work in this happy place…

1/ Butterfly Wallpaper, Designers Guild

2/ Book Shelf, Ballard Designs

3/ Three Door Credenza, Mod Shop

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Living Room + Dining Room

Every accessory from the blush oriental rug to the magenta agate coasters screams girl time. The pink and navy accents that Maureen incorporated throughout her home add pops of color that cheer up the open layout. Everything from the table books to the wallpaper was thoughtfully chosen to reflect the client’s bright personality. How FUN would a happy hour with friends be in this posh space.

1/ “When Art Meets Design” Table Book

2/ Dining Table, Layla Grayce

3/ Pom Pom Rug, Anthropologie

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Master Bedroom

Adding more of a theatrical flair and darker color scheme to this room, the master bedroom has an overall bold yet cozy feel. Very unique!

1/ “Opera” by Ludwig Favre, Art Star

2/ Dark Floral Wallpaper, Ellie Cashman Design

3/ Atlas Point Chair, All Modern

4/ Gold + Pink Ottoman, Wayfair

5/ Black Swing-Arm Wall Lights, Visual Comfort & Co.

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I hope that you readers got some inspiration and ideas from this project! We are still in the process of finishing her lovely home and can’t wait to share the rest of it all with you all as it comes together. Have a happy rest of your week and don’t forget to check the blog on Friday for some more Fab Friday Finds!

xoxo,

Greta

Featured Artist: Caroline Doyle

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Photo Cred: The Daily Texan

Today, we are featuring a young, vibrant & contemporary artist, Caroline Doyle. Here at Maureen Stevens Design, we are always looking for amazing art for our clients & well, hers? We fell in love with. We caught up with Caroline for a little Q & A on how her passion & drive for art started.

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I have been fascinated by all different styles of art since I was young, from Realism to Abstract, and everything in between. Whether in a gallery, a museum, or a home, art has always been an essential part of enhancing spaces with its power to transform any interior atmosphere.

The art we choose to view and hang in our own space is always changing, as new artists and inspirations come along. For me, I have always been drawn to the bright colors and exciting vibrancy of Contemporary Art, with a hand from Pop Art. Pop Art has brought popular culture in the realm of high art since the 1960s, and reflects the realities and concepts of everyday life.

The evolution of Contemporary Art and the importance of incorporating artwork in spaces we design is what inspired me to begin this segment on our blog. To start this series off with a bang, I sat down with one of my most talented friends, Caroline Doyle, who has a knack for combining all of my favorite styles of art. She is heavily influenced by Pop Art, and incorporates both realist and abstract elements to create paintings that keep us wanting more! We asked her a few questions about her lifelong passion for painting that has turned into a full-time career as an up-and-coming contemporary artist.

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Bey in the Air, 48″ x 48″

1/  Tell me about yourself, your art experience, and how you decided that creating art was something you wanted to make a career out of.

I was born and raised in Houston, and just graduated from the University of Texas in May. I majored in Studio Art, but never dreamed of turning my degree into a career. By a series of happy accidents and the incredible support of friends and family, the career happened to me! While I was spending my whole Senior Year, half-heartedly applying for jobs that seemed more practical, I started getting requests from people to purchase my work. Before I knew it, I was flooded with orders, and my little business had begun! I was overwhelmed by the amount of people who took interest in my work without promoting it, and it was then that I thought this was something I could seriously pursue after graduation. My art experience thus far has been a medley of exploring many different means and styles to achieve the same goal: bringing something beautiful into existence that did not before, and making it thought provoking and fun for viewers to engage with.

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Diamond, 48″ x 48″

2/ What is your favorite piece of art that you’ve ever created and why?

Gosh, so hard to pick favorites! If I had to choose one, it would be the first major painting I did freshman year of college, “Paint Coated Deer.” It’s a marker for my technical improvement from day one, and still represents some of the ideas I explore today. It juxtaposes the contemporary with the classic. I grew up in a family of hunters, and while I enjoy the sport, I constantly find myself more intrigued by the composure of deer. The deer exhibit the serene figurative aspects of traditional painting, interrupted by a stark breach of the absurdly contemporary. By “painting paint” on the poised animals, it suddenly brings them into a dialog between primal existence and fast-paced colorful modernism in an amusing way.

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Paint Coated Deer, 48″ x 60″

3/ What are you trying to communicate with your art?

Truth, brilliance, and conversation with a satirical flair. I am drawn to exploring the fast and loud within our society – there is beauty to be seen in both the good and bad aspects of our culture. I seek to create work that is both pleasing and fun at first glance, yet dares my viewers to invoke further thought as to the underlying theme of each piece. I want my art to start conversations on anything from politics to pop culture to nature by adding energy, humor, and elegance to the otherwise mundane. Moreover, I just want people to enjoy it!

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Interior Luxe I, both 24″ x 36″

4/  Who is your ultimate inspiration and why? 

Ashley Longshore. If you don’t know her, you need to! She’s the most out-there, kickass artist in the game. I resonate with a lot of her ideas on pop culture and showcasing luxury and wit. I admire how raw and authentic she is in her work, and aim to be that way with my own! Her vibrant use of color, cultural icons, and text bring hilarity to a world of darkness – gotta love it!

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Big Red, 48″ x 72″

5/ What is your process for taking custom orders or selling work?

So far, the word has spread itself!! I cannot credit enough the overwhelming support of friends, family, and even strangers to bringing in business. As of right now, I share my work on Instagram (@carolinedoyle_art) where clients can either message me or email me with inquires about purchasing work or ordering a custom commission. I love when people reach out, and I am always happy to chat ideas! So feel free to send me a note and let’s get talking! *stay tuned: website in the works*

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Beats by Deer, 36″ x 60″

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On the Fly, 42″ x 66″

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Amanda-naut, 48″ x 48″
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Hilde, 36″ x 48

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Milary Clinton, 48″ x 48″

For more updates and photos of Caroline’s recent artwork, follow @carolinedoyle_art on Instagram. Cheers to the artist herself & her swoon-worthy art!

Design Board to Reality: Casual + Relaxing Bedroom

Happy Tuesday everybody! I cannot count how many design boards we’ve made but yes, aside from Pinterest or Houzz ideabooks, design boards are really very helpful in conveying ideas to clients. A lot of times a board may not reflect all of what happens in reality but the client is able to grasp the style & feel we are going for.

We made this design board for a young, vibrant couple who moved from Cali to the quiet yet impeccable & affluent neighborhood of Tarrytown, Austin. They wanted their bedroom to be casual, soothing and relaxing. We did cool tones of blue, muted aquas & light grays. Here’s the …

DESIGN BOARD

master bedroom design board

So, most of the things on the board happened but a couple didn’t.

1/ The media armoire is from Restoration Hardware in a weathered grey oak finish.

2/ I was thinking of an ice blue-gray carpet but we ended up with a gorgeous one from Milliken. And we think it’s the right choice!

3/ The bed & bench is from good old Overstock! Have I told you, I also believe in doing high-low projects? Mixing high-end stuff with affordable ones without of course sacrificing style & functionality!

4/ A couple of accessories are from West Elm including the accent table beside the chair. I was also thinking of using a pattern from Schumacher for the draperies but solid, gray velvet ones from West Elm as well won in the end. There is a big difference between custom and retail with pros & cons either way. As designers, we believe in customization but also weigh the importance of budgets & timelines in the mix; I believe in giving options!

5/ A dresser was chosen in lieu of a vanity table + chair {Jonathan Adler}. Nightstands + dresser are from Brownstone.

6/ Most of the accessories are from a local showroom.

Oh and we painted the walls too! At first, the clients thought it was a bit glaring or too ice blue, but in the end, with all of the furnishings and accessories, it all comes together!

And voila! Here is the final space.

REALITY

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What do you think? It was featured in the Austin-San Antonio Urban Home Decor Mag {link} & we couldn’t be more proud, but more than that, the clients loved it!

This is Me | Greta

Hello readers! My name is Greta and I am the newest member of Maureen’s interior design team or may I say squad. I wrote a post last week on my top ten fall home decor favorites, but I didn’t get a chance to properly introduce myself…so, here’s a little bit about me!

1/ Today I am swooning over this space… NATIVE HOSTELS IN AUSTIN, TX.

Native is the coolest place I’ve ever been, and I’m not just saying that. Maureen and I visited Native last week and I felt like I was in a different place at a different time as soon as I stepped inside. Just being there is an experience in itself. The space is very open, yet cozy and is filled with all types of people: explorers, travelers, youthful wanderlusts, and dreamers. The twelve hostel rooms are tucked away on the backside of the cafe and bar and on the second floor. I didn’t get a chance to check out the sleeping areas last time I went, but I am sure they are decorated similar to the industrial and vintage inspired lounge area. Check out my new favorite spot, even if its just to grab a drink with a few friends!  nativebuilding_25471d0a14fa9584fe8d02917c1253e0

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2/ My go-to outfit… WORKOUT CLOTHES because I’m always on the go!

My new favorite brand of activewear is called Outdoor Voices. They have men and women’s clothing and are reasonably priced. My favorite piece of clothing that they carry are their leggings. I have the 3/4 Warmup Legging in Rose Quartz and I absolutely LOVE them. They are perfect for running errands on a normal day, for hikes in Colorado, or for my favorite Corepower class, Sculpt. Outdoor Voices has a new store in Austin, so go check it out!


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3/ I’ve traveled to ENCINITAS, CALIFORNIA and loved it…you totally should go!

My family has been traveling to southern California since I was five years old. It is our happy place, without a doubt. This summer, I brought my boyfriend, Tucker, to Encinitas for a week and he fell in love, as well. Like I said in my bio, when I am by a body of water my heart feels the fullest. My favorite part about Encinitas is the public beach located in the middle of the cute beach town, Moonlight Beach. I love the days where we lay out in the sun for hours on end and fall asleep on our towels to the sound of the waves crashing next to us. Here are some pictures of me in my happy place and a few memories from this past summer spent in California.

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4/ My wanderlust…CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA.

Cape Town looks absolutely STUNNING. I love that there are penguins there and that the water is crystal blue. My dream is to go visit Cape Town one day, either for my honeymoon or with my family on a vacation. Another cool thing about South Africa is that the natives have beautiful accents! I have heard that there are really cool restaurants in Cape Town (I’m a foodie), and endless sight-seeing. Take me there!

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5/ My #1 love is…. CHARLEY, MY GOLDEN RETRIEVER PUPPY.

Back in May, Tucker and I drove all the way to Tupelo, Mississippi to pick up our #1 love, Charley. Charley was 3 pounds at the time that we picked him up from a breeder out of Selmer, Tennessee, and he was a ball of FLUFF. The drive was worth it – let me tell you! So you may be asking, what made us want to get a dog at our ages? Well, both of us grew up with little dogs and have always wanted a big dog to love on, which is why we made the decision to get a dog together! We also felt like we are at the stages in our lives where we can handle the big responsibility of raising an animal together. Charley is now almost 6 months old, weighs about 50 pounds, and still thinks he’s a lap dog. No complaints though, we love to snuggle with our big ‘ole baby! Follow @Charley_the_golden_boy on Instagram to watch our fur baby grow and live his adventurous life!

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That’s all for now! Thanks so much for reading about me and I will catch y’all later this week!

xoxo,

Greta

Our Top 10 Fall Favorites

It’s still pretty hot here in Austin, but here we are daydreaming about the cool weather that should be right around the corner. This autumn, I hope that the leaves turn their brightest, boldest colors and that the air will stay crisp and cool. Other than the weather, my very favorite thing about the fall is that the home becomes its most inviting all year. Maureen and I compiled these fall favorites for all you readers to get inspiration from when prepping you own home for the cozy season to come!

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Top 10 Fall Items

  1. Fox by Amanda Pratt 2. Metalwork Hurricane in Rose Gold 3. Ugg Oversized Knit Pillow 4. Agate Coasters – Natural + Gold 5. Faux Fur Leopard Ombre Throw 6. Fable Collection Rug in Granite 7. Velvet Swivel Office Chair in Forest 8. Capri Blue Copper Candle in Lagoon 9. Sculpt Vases 10. Modern Knot Pouf in Gray

Well, back to work…I will continue dreaming of a chill in the air and a reason to cuddle up next to the fireplace!

xoxo

Greta

Elements of Modern Country

When designing homes for my clients, I see a common thread. They all want their spaces to be warm & inviting; casual, comfortable, unpretentious and where you can put your feet up without worry and judgement. Hence the surge of the modern farmhouse and enter modern country or new country. It’s rustic living without being too rustic, it’s simple, yet it’s filled with furnishings that screams a “passion for craftsmanship allowing the natural materials to shine through.” I came across this book that celebrates all of that and more; Modern Living | New Country by the amazing interiors journalist & design writer Claire Bingham {she was the Homes Editor for Elle Decoration UK and her work has been featured in international glossies, including Vogue Living and Architectural Digest}.

There are tons of eye-candy in this book; you’ll find a Moroccan villa, a French chalet, a Nordic log cabin — the book re-interprets what “country” is. But my best takeaways are the practical tips to achieve this look, here are my Top 10.

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Let’s examine what I mean by each one, shall we?

1/ Layers: The lived-in look is all about layering and mixing & matching. Love 2 rugs for your living room? Why not layer & use them both? Have so many textures going on & think it may be too much? The answer is “No.” Go ahead and have linen, velvets, kilims & sheepskin all in one space.

2/ Whitewash Walls: In the era of shiplap {thanks Joanna Gaines}, whitewash walls takes it to another level of rustic. Don’t think whitewashing can be done to wood only, essentially any surface can be whitewashed — sheetrock walls, brick, anything!

3/ Vintage Tub: I saw lots of them in this book & for good reason. They are just so adorable & gives a bathroom so much character. A simple refinishing is just what a vintage tub needs but if you find one, don’t get it refinished to where it’s too pristine; the wear & tear should still shine through.

4/ Ticking: That casual fabric made of cotton & textile used in the old days to cover mattresses & pillows is now used as upholstery,linens & napkins, cushion covers & even drapery. I’m rather partial to red ticking. See some of my fabric obsessions here & here.

5/ Functional Spaces: This seems like a no-brainer but how many of us have spaces in our homes that literally have no function? In a modern country home, each space is important. The stair landing may hold a cabinet storing extra linens or a wall niche may hold firewood logs.

6/ Natural Hues: The organic tones of wood, the crisp whiteness of clouds, the ashen gray & black hues of burnt firewood.

7/ Salvaged Rustic Pieces: What is country without rustic pieces right? A factory cart turned into a coffee table, lighting suspended on old pulleys, old barn doors turned into wall art, the list goes on.

8/ Wood Beams: Of course, right? Get some reclaimed ones while you’re at it. It will be perfect!

9/ Rethink Wood Floors: Real wood floors — it’s timeless, it’s classic. But give it a modern twist — mix it with other materials. By now, you’ve probably seen a lot of the tile-wood combo where the tile bleeds on the wooden floors {or is it the other way around?}; you would need a geometric tile & at Fireclay tile, the possibilities are endless.

10/ Linens + Slipcovers: Dress your seating in this type of fabric — they just spell comfort.

More eye candy ….
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From top left: 1. A white bedroom with canopy makes for a New Country bedroom dream 2. A rustic French chalet makes way for a Rococo bed 3. A very Scandinavian Living room 4. A glorious nook

The verdict for the book? Two thumbs up & five stars — you will not be disappointed with a whole slew of inspiration & heaps of practical tips — to making the most of small spaces to lessons in layering. Go get it at Teneues or it’s here on Amazon too! It’s a must have for every design enthusiast & a perfect coffee table book.

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Exterior Cladding // 3 Things to Think About

Vertical Wood & Wood Slats + Black or Gray // Modern + Organic Cladding

Vertical Wood & Wood Slats + Black or Gray // Modern + Organic Cladding

I know, I know this is probably not the most exciting of posts but hey, you want your home to have curb appeal right? Have that wow factor where your neighbors or passers-by will take a second look at the exterior of your home & subtlely tell themselves, “I want that.”

These days, there are so many house cladding options on the market that it can be difficult to choose one that’s right for you and your home. But first, what is cladding? Simply, a covering of a structure or material. Whether you’re building a house for the first time, or fixing up an old house to look like new, there are many things to consider while you choose the cladding that is right for you.

1/ The B word again, your Budget

One of the biggest things to consider when choosing your cladding is your budget. The price of different materials can vary widely, both because of the material itself and because of the amount of time and expertise required to install each type of cladding.

Materials like stone and brick are toward the top of the price list, because they typically require a skilled team of experts for installation. Many homeowners are incapable of installing these materials themselves because of the required equipment and skills.

Materials like vinyl cladding, however, are typically cheaper because of the material but also because installation is much easier. In fact, some homeowners choose to install vinyl cladding themselves — though you should only do this if you feel comfortable.

2/ Your Taste

One of the biggest considerations when deciding on the cladding for your home is your taste and personality. Your home is a reflection of yourself, and its appearance is important.

Each type of cladding has a different look, and many can be personalized even further. There are many different types of wood cladding in different shapes, sizes, types of wood, and even directions. Vinyl cladding comes in a variety of shapes and colors as well.

Even brick has a ton of variety when it comes to the color and size of the bricks, the color of the grout, and whether or not you choose to paint over it.

When you step back and look at all the options out there — stucco, stone, brick, vinyl, wood, engineered materials, metal, fiber-cement, and so much more — every type has ways of further modifying and customizing to make sure your home looks exactly the way you want it to.

Farmhouse Classic in White or Gray Siding

Farmhouse Classic in White or Gray Siding

3/ Weathering

Another important consideration is how well your chosen material will hold up to the weather, whether that’s rain, snow, sun, wind, or anything else. Certain materials perform really well against common types of weather, but others don’t.

That doesn’t mean that you can’t get a certain material because it doesn’t hold up well against weather — it just means that if you decide to use that material, you’ll also need to install other forms of weather proofing to ensure the interior of your home doesn’t fall victim to the next big rain storm.

Honey-hued wood in gray or horizontal is amazing as an exterior cladding option

Honey-hued wood in gray or horizontal is amazing as an exterior cladding option

Brick does not hold up well against water, but does well against intense heat and sunshine. Stone typically holds up well against many types of weather. Wood does not do well against many types of weather, and requires much more upkeep because of that.

When it comes to choosing a material that will hold up to the elements, it’s best to consider your location and ask a professional about what would work best for you.

10 Contemporary Hallway Sconces

Hi friends! Folks, I know we’re so inundated with everything about the election, polls & politics. November 8th is almost here…before we get to the sconces, don’t forget to vote. Get to the polls before the 8th or on the 8th. Whatever day, time, just do it & get ‘er done!

Anywho, I’ve been sourcing hallways sconces for a couple of clients & man oh man, there’s so many gorgeous options out there. I like wall sconces in hallways but particularly right at the doorway, it’s like creating a red carpet feel at the start of a hall. I mean, nothing says you are fabulous than some lights as you enter right? So here are 10 contemporary hallway sconce options:

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1/ Trapeze 2/ Cora 3/ Agnes 4/ Delta 5/ Pillar Offset 6/ Tassel 7/ Seed 8/ Vibia 9/ Pris 10/ CounterBalance

I have so many favorites! Check out the progress of some of my projects on Insta!